At a meeting on Tuesday Nov 28, the Town announced revised rules for applications to hold outdoor events – e.g. the Rib Fest, Wine and Ale in the Park, etc. Fire safety rules were enhanced and existing rules will be more strictly enforced. Deputy Chief Paul Vandegraaf said that they will deploy more officers to enforce rules such as liquor infractions but that Special Constables will be mostly used for this purpose. There are currently 12 Special Constables but this number will increase to 15 shortly. Bylaw enforcement officers and Fire Department Officers will also be deployed.
It seems that some requirements that have been in place for some time have not been enforced but they now will be. For example, the requirements to complete a Refreshment Vehicle form and the specified lead times for applications will be enforced. Also there needs to be 10 metres clearance between oil cooking equipment and heritage buildings e.g. the Victoria Park Band Shell.
Teresa Behan, Manager of Parks, said that event organizers should not drop off an application the same day as advertising for the event starts. Two months notice is required for events with an attendance of less than 5000 (or any returning major event) and at least 3 months in advance for events with an expected attendance of 5000 or more (or new Tourism events).
Teresa also listed other changes:
- The requirements for clearance around the Cenotaph would be better enforced.
- A limit of 24 would be placed on the number of benches that would be provided (would this affect Rib Fest?). They are not stored centrally but must be moved from wherever they are currently located. She noted that the benches in the Lion’s Pavilion would not be moved.
- Fundraising events like car-washes in Town Parking Lots would no longer be approved.
- Holding events on the Pier may be dependent on the results of the Waterfront study currently nearing completion.
- Organizers are encouraged to keep porta-potties away from residential areas – or at least erect a barrier to stop them being viewed by residences.
In addition, Fire Rules have been spelled out (some new) and although Fire inspections will not be performed in every case (due to insufficient staff), some inspections will happen and if a violation is found, the offending activity will be shut down. It seems that a new era of stricter Fire Safety rules is being ushered in.
The revised 20 page procedure with the new and updated requirements is available on the Town’s Municipal Event Application Page here. This is for outdoor events only; Victoria Hall and CCC events are handled separately.